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The 2010 Josephine Waters Bennett Lecture: Albrecht Dürer as Collector

Jeffrey Chipps Smith
Renaissance Quarterly
Vol. 64, No. 1 (Spring 2011), pp. 1-49
DOI: 10.1086/660367
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/660367
Page Count: 49
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The 2010 Josephine Waters Bennett Lecture: Albrecht
Dürer as Collector
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Abstract

Albrecht Dürer avidly collected for his professional and personal pleasure. Drawing upon textual and artistic evidence, it is possible to assess what sorts of objects he acquired. Through purchases, bartering, and gifts, Dürer amassed an important library with authors ranging from Euclid to Martin Luther. Among his many dealings with contemporary masters, he exchanged drawings with Raphael, swapped prints with Lucas van Leyden, and bought a Salvator Mundi illuminated by Susanna Horenbout. Dürer was fascinated by objects of natural rarity and of exotic, non-European origins. He also self-collected. Some paintings and drawings, occasionally inscribed with biographical or autobiographical information, were intended primarily for his, his family's, and his close friends’ private consumption. The holdings displayed in his Nuremberg house anticipated the art and wonder chambers that became popular later in the sixteenth century. The collection offers new insights into Dürer's conscious efforts of self-fashioning.

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